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Doping in Belgium ( Flanders / Wallonia)

Doping law in Belgium (Flanders): our lawyers are ready to assist

Doping is a phenomenon of all times and all places. Competitive sport and cheating are inextricably connected. Over the years, instruments have been developed to deter and sanction the abuse of performance enhancing drugs in sport. The general principles of the main tool to combat doping, being the World Anti Doping Code, and its integration in Belgium (Flanders) are clarified below (in Dutch: link )

Our Law firm has an extensive experience in doping cases and our lawyers are available to cooperate in any legal dispute or procedure.

Conception of WADA and adoption of the WADC

The World Anti Doping Agency (hereafter: WADA) was created in the aftermath of the Festina-affaire in 1998. This incident made the International Olympic Committee realise that cooperation with the public authorities was necessary to solve the doping problem. After the World Conference on Doping in Sports in February 1999 at Lausanne, WADA was founded. The foundation board of WADA is composed in equal numbers of IOC-representatives and representatives of the member-countries. WADA is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the global fight against doping in sport. The headquarters are located in Montreal. Besides that, WADA has four regional offices, each in every continent.

In conclusion of the Second World Conference on Doping in Sports in May 2003, the Declaration of Copenhagen was drafted. This declaration contained the main principles regarding the set-up of an anti-doping program and it was the basis for the World Anti-Doping Code (hereafter: WADC). Since this declaration was of private nature, thus not binding for public authorities, an anti-doping convention was concluded within the UNESCO. In this way, the basic principles of the WADC became legally binding for participating states.

Doping rule violations

The WADC is based upon two fundamental ideas. On the one hand it aims to protect the athletes fundamental right to participate in a doping-free sport, on the other hand it has as object to ensure harmonized, coordinated and effective anti-doping programs with regard to the detection, deterrence and prevention of doping.

The WADC contains a list of 10 practices which are considered as anti-doping rule violations. These violations are listed in article 2 and vary from the use of a prohibited substance or method over whereabout failures to tampering with any part of doping control.

WADA also drafted a so-called prohibited list, which contains every substance or method which is considered to be doping.

A substance or method is included on the prohibited list if two out of the following three criteria are fulfilled.

1. The potential to enhance sport performance

2. An actual or potential health risk to the athlete

3. violation of the spirit of sport

Sanctions in the WADC

Art. 10 of the WADC contains the sanctions in case of an anti-doping rule violation. The results of an athlete in the event during which an anti-doping rule violation occurs can be disqualified. The athlete also risks to be suspended from competition for a certain period of time. The duration of a suspension depends on different factors, under which the nature of the anti-doping rule violation and the nature of the used prohibited substance or method. Furthermore, financial sanctions can be imposed on the athlete.

The Belgian / Flemish regulation on doping

Belgium

In Belgium, the regulations concerning doping (i.e. the integration of the WADC) falls within the jurisdiction of the communities.

However, also the Belgian Drugs Act can be relevant, since there are criminal sanctions for the import and acquisitions of steroids, hormones and other doping substances. A prosecution by the National Anti-Doping Organisation often leads to an interrogation and a house search by the Belgian police and to a settlement proposal of the public prosecutor.

Flanders

In Flanders the provisions of the WADC were translated within the Flemish Anti-Doping Act of 25 May 2012 concerning the prevention and the fight against doping in sport and the Executive Decree of 19 October 2012. The official state funded anti-doping organisation is NADO Flanders (http://www.dopinglijn.be).

The regulation is applicable to any person who practices a sports activity. A sports activity is any preparation or initiative to practise sports for recreational, competitive or demonstrative purposes in an organised context. This includes elite, low-level competitive and fitness athletes.

NADO tests and sanctions, through the Doping Disciplinary Commission (first instance) and the Council (appeal), amateur athletes (as defined in WADC).

Regarding elite athletes, the federations, except the Cycling federation, have delegated the prosecution and sanctioning of their athletes to a mutual disciplinary commission, the “Vlaams Doping Tribunal” (Flemish Doping Tribunal – http://www.dopingtribunaal.be).

French Community

In the French Community, the provisions of the WADC were translated within the French Community Anti-Doping Act of 20 October 2011 and the Executive Decree of 20 October 2011. The official state funded anti-doping organisation is “La Direction de la lutte contre le dopage” (Anti-Doping Department – http://www.dopage.cfwb.be/).

The regulation is applicable to any person who practices a sports activity. A sports activity is any preparation or initiative to practise sports for recreational, competitive or demonstrative purposes in an organised context. This includes elite, low-level competitive and fitness athletes.

The Anti-Doping Department tests and sanctions amateur athletes (as defined in WADC).

Regarding elite athletes, the federations have delegated the prosecution and sanctioning of their athletes partly to the Belgian Court of Sports Arbitration (BAS – http://www.bas-cbas.be/) and partly to the Interfederal Disciplinary Commission concerning Doping (CIDD).

 

Doping violation? Solicit a lawyer from Everest Sport

Everest Sport offers different kinds of legal services in doping cases. Our lawyers have experience at the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), the BAS (Belgian Court of Arbitration for Sport) and the governmental Doping Disciplinary Commissions and Councils.

Besides the provision of advice and legal support in proceedings, Everest Sport can inter alia provide assistance at the B-sample analysis at the DoCoLab of the Ghent University (Technologiepark 30b, B-9052 Zwijnaarde). Our offices are nearby and you have the right to appoint a lawyer at the analysis.

Further questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us via 09/334.94.70, the contact form or sport@everest-law.be.

 

Doping Belgium – Doping Flanders – Doping Wallonia – Doping law – This article in DutchOther areas of sports lawthe WADC